“Catcher Looking Up” by Robert Robinson
Robert Robinson was born in 1886, in Wilkes-Barre, PA, just 20 miles south of this humble blogger. He was an illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post from 1910-1925. He did a lot of illustrations featuring the new-fangled invention, the automobile, but he stepped away from his comfort zone to give us a really nice baseball themed illustration.
“Catcher Looking Up” was featured on the Oct 1, 1910 issue and captures a frequent moment in many baseball games, the catcher eyeing up a pop fly somewhere near home plate. One of the things that I like about this illustration is the fact that the catcher still has his catcher’s mask in his hand. A smart catcher will hold on to his mask until the final seconds of a foul pop, before tossing away his mask, thus avoiding the embarrassment of tripping over it. The chest protector is nothing more than a thin piece of stuffed cloth, while the catcher’s mitt is a round heavily padded glove with just a small pocket to catch the ball in. A big difference from today’s hinged catcher’s mitt. Looking at the glove, it makes me wonder if our illustrated catcher was able to make the catch.
I did a little research to determine, if this was an illustration of an actual Major League catcher, who might it be? The uniform with the distinctive black turned up collar looks very much like the home uniform of the Cleveland Naps. If so, their primary catcher that season was Ted Easterly. What do you think? Could it be Easterly? I say, why not?
In baseball on October 1, 1910 the NY Highlanders beat the Washington Senators by a score of 7-2. Russ Ford won his 25th game of the year beating Dolly Gray. NY continues their streak of wins, now 5-0, on Saturday Evening Post baseball themed illustration dates.